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Thread: Is WDFW rule on handguns for archers, muzzleloaders in conflict with law?

  1. #1
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    Is the newWashington Department of Fish and Wildliferule allowing bowhunters and muzzleloaders to carry defensive handguns in conflict with state law?

    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-4525-Seattle-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m4d24-Department-of-Fish--Wildlife-in-conflict-with-state-statute

    If that doesn't work:

    http://tinyurl.com/ddn93m

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    There's an easy answer to this question. (No, I haven't read the article yet... just voicing out to the title question)

    Yes, it conflicts with state law.

    Is it an illegal law? No, it is a state law in its own right, thus is beholden under preemption.

    Does this create confusion about the law, as there are two laws that say two different things? Yes, this is what State Preemption was supposed to prevent, but unfortunately, it has not done so in this case.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    Well, then dammit read the article!







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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Just finished reading it.

    I just wanted to get my initial opinions to the question "down on paper" before commenting on the article.

    Good article, especially tying into the WI Federal civil right lawsuit, pointing out that not only Nickles, but also the WDFW commission could face the same if they don't clean up their act.

    Something that came to me while reading the article (but before I got to the obligatory quote) was that it does violate the State Constitution in that it prevents the bowhunter or muzzleloader from bearing a specific type of arm that would be necessary for his personal protection from either 4-legged or 2-legged attackers in the wilds.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    Correct me if I am wrong (I am certain someone will), But there is a hierarchy in the laws.

    1st The constitution

    2nd RCW

    3rd WAC

    RCW are subservient to the constitution, WAC ( administrative codes that have the force and effect of law) are subservient to the RCW.

    It would appear that being a WAC it would be overruled by the RCW. However, the DFWG officer would probably cite and let you fight it out in court.

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Most WAC's are given legal "teeth" by RCW's that give boards of directors and other such bodies permission to make "rules and regulations" on how to run certain things from institutions of higher education to hunting and fishing.

    I would wager there is an RCW that does the same thing in this instance.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    Most WAC's are given legal "teeth" by RCW's that give boards of directors and other such bodies permission to make "rules and regulations" on how to run certain things from institutions of higher education to hunting and fishing.
    Exactly. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is acting as the legislature when it makes rules. It has that authority.

    As to preemption: 9.41.290 preempts local laws. It does not preempt other state laws or regulations. It does not allow the state to preempt itself. Such a legal concept is absurd on it's face, codified or not.

    The only substantive argument here is the constitutional one.

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